The West Virginia House of Delegates has officially abandoned legislation that would have significantly cut the state’s 5% oil, natural gas and coal severance tax rate. House leaders said that they would instead study the cuts over the next year. The West Virginia Senate passed SB 705 in early March. It would have lowered the severance tax rate to 4% by July 2017 and to 3% in July 2018. The state tax department estimated that the cuts would have cost the state up to $129 million in 2018. Sources had told NGI’s Shale Daily prior to the House’s announcement that the bill stood only a small chance of being passed (see Shale Daily, March 8). Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin also indicated that he would have vetoed the bill.